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Can Somerset County Attract Millennials?

July 30th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

The Cobalt, a proposed apartment development near the Somerville train station. Photo: Weiss Properties

The Cobalt, a proposed apartment development near the Somerville train station. Photo: Weiss Properties

The Fall 2014 Duke Farms studio class at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University had an interesting assignment: Figure out where the opportunities are for Somerset County to attract more Millennial residents. The report, Somerset County Development Opportunities: A Millennial Perspective (pdf), prepared for the Somerset County Business Partnership in collaboration with the Somerset County Freeholders and Planning Board, has now been published. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future Board Chairman Named to Monmouth University’s First Endowed Chair in Real Estate Policy

July 27th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart, the current director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University and chairman of New Jersey Future’s board of trustees, has been named to Monmouth University’s first endowed chair in real estate policy. The Arthur and Dorothy Greenbaum and Robert Ferguson/New Jersey Realtors Endowed Chair in Real Estate Policy, in the university’s Leon Hess Business School, was named in honor of the late Robert Ferguson, who served as executive vice president of New Jersey Realtors for nearly 40 years, and Arthur Greenbaum, senior partner at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, LLC, who received the first Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute Leadership Excellence Award in 1994. Read the rest of this entry »

State Planning Commission Set To Extend Center Designations; Leaves Coastal Towns at Risk

July 10th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

Much of Mystic Island's current center is projected to be inundated by 2050.

Much of Mystic Island’s current center is projected to be inundated by 2050.

Next week the State Planning Commission is scheduled to vote to extend “center” designations for another three years, a move New Jersey Future opposed for coastal and other vulnerable centers.

Extending the designation signals state support for future development at higher intensities than without the designation, and gives towns with such designations access to greater funding from state departments such as the Economic Development Authority and its job creation and development incentives. Read the rest of this entry »

Two New Transit Villages Named, Including Second Bus-Centered Designation

July 10th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

Irvington's bus terminal. Photo: Jim Henderson

Irvington’s bus terminal. Photo: Jim Henderson

On July 8 the New Jersey Department of Transportation announced the designation of two new Transit Villages, its 29th and 30th. The two new designees are Park Ridge in Bergen County and Irvington in Essex County.

Park Ridge’s designation comes after more than seven years of downtown-focused planning, initiated in 2008 by a community-wide visioning process and furthered by local ordinances that have encouraged downtown redevelopment. Park Ridge has also been building out its bicycle and pedestrian network in an effort to connect nearby neighborhoods to downtown amenities. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Our Coastline Both Resilient and Prosperous

July 8th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

Recommendations directly parallel New Jersey Future work

Atlantic City's Steel Pier at sunset. Photo credit: flickr user SurFeRGiRL30

Atlantic City’s Steel Pier at sunset. Photo credit: flickr user SurFeRGiRL30

Can our coastal areas enjoy both prosperity and resilience? This was the question posed at the annual Peter Lord Seminar on the Environment, presented June 25 in Providence, R.I., by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. The answer is yes, but it will require better information and longer-term planning.

Preserving the economic viability of our coastal areas is critical. In terms of employment, according to NOAA’s Coastal County Snapshots, the ocean economy employs more people nationally than do crop production, telecommunications, and building construction combined. In New Jersey, the ocean economy provided 105,200 jobs in 2012, up from 77,300 jobs in 2005. It represents $4 billion in wages paid, and more than $7.4 billion in good and services produced. Tourism provides the overwhelming majority (slightly less than 80 percent) of coastal jobs, with marine transportation, both shipping and passenger transportation, showing strong growth. Any coastal management initiative needs to preserve these economic benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

Survey Will Gather Input on Health Effects of Flooding in Hoboken

July 1st, 2015 by Teri Jover

Photo credit: flickr user Alec Perkins

Pumping out a flooded basement in Hoboken. Photo credit: flickr user Alec Perkins

Rutgers University and New Jersey Future are working to assess the health impacts on Hoboken residents of repeated flooding in the city. As part of the assessment, the Rutgers led-project is asking Hoboken residents to complete a Hoboken Resident Community Health and Resilience Survey. The survey is an effort to gather input about the effects of chronic flooding on health. Respondents will also have the chance to share their opinions on potential solutions to limit future flooding.

As part of post-Sandy recovery, the City of Hoboken is working on strategies to manage stormwater — a major cause of water pollution and flooding — more effectively throughout the city. When the rain falls on roofs, streets and parking lots, the water cannot soak into the ground. This causes flooding throughout the city, as well as pollution of nearby waterbodies. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Moves to Final Round in National Disaster Resiliency Competition

June 29th, 2015 by Megan Callus

Sandy-related flooding in Little Ferry. Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced New Jersey as one of 40 finalists of Phase I of the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) and invited the state to move forward to the second and final phase of the competition.

In its initial application, submitted in March, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection focused on creating replicable pilot projects that address the flooding risks in estuarine communities. The layered flood risk reduction measures proposed ranged from home elevation to preservation and restoration of wetlands to buyouts of homes in flood-prone areas. In Phase 2 of the competition, the state will propose specific pilot projects and articulate their design and means of implementation. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the Phase 2 draft application, which needs to be submitted by Oct. 27, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

New Study Shines a Light on Mixed-Income Housing Around New Jersey’s Transit Stations

June 22nd, 2015 by Tim Evans

Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

Can towns use housing development to improve or strengthen the areas around their train stations? The short answer is yes, but the type of housing will vary town by town, depending on the current mix of housing available. The housing mix becomes especially important as New Jersey municipalities prepare to submit their affordable housing plans for approval by the courts.

To help towns with train stations better understand their current mix of housing and to give guidance for future development decisions, New Jersey Future is releasing its latest report, OFF TRACK? An Assessment of Mixed-Income Housing around New Jersey’s Transit Stations. The report assesses the degree to which the distribution of household income within each transit station’s immediate neighborhood matches up with, or departs from, the distribution of household income in the larger region in which the station is located. By understanding this divergence, towns will be better able to make decisions about the types of housing they should be zoning for and encouraging. Read the rest of this entry »

New Report Highlights National Trend: Corporations Are Investing Downtown

June 18th, 2015 by Elaine Clisham

Rendering of the new Panasonic North America headquarters in downtown Newark.

Rendering of the new Panasonic North America headquarters in downtown Newark. Panasonic is one of the corporations profiled in the new report.

A new report from Smart Growth America highlights the many advantages corporations across the country seek when they make a decision to relocate to or expand in a downtown. The report, Core Values: Why American Companies Are Moving Downtown, was prepared by the organization in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield and the George Washington University School of Business’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis.

Among the executives interviewed for the report was Jim Reilly, vice president of corporate communications at Panasonic North America, which in 2012 chose to build its new headquarters in downtown Newark. That year, New Jersey Future honored Panasonic North America’s chairman, Joseph Taylor, with its Cary Edwards Leadership Award. Read the rest of this entry »

Millennials, ‘Alternative’ Economy Shape Downtown Redevelopment Trends

June 15th, 2015 by Lauren Bolline

Downtown Bordentown. Photo courtesy of JGSC Group.

Downtown Bordentown. Photo courtesy of JGSC Group.

Downtown New Jersey’s annual conference on June 11 had a strong focus on the development of small to medium-size downtowns, particularly through the help of Special and Business Improvement Districts (SIDs and BIDs). The conference was appropriately held in downtown Rahway, which provides a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges in redeveloping downtowns.

Kennedy Smith, president of Community Land Use and Economics (CLUE) Group, who gave the keynote presentation, highlighted the strength of these smaller markets when she pointed out that national retailers are starting to move back to them. “National retailers are not risk takers,” she said. “They are market followers, not leaders.” Read the rest of this entry »

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